By Libya Herald staff.
Benghazi/Tripoli, 16 February 2015:
This morning’s Egyptian airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Derna hit targets mainly outside . . .[restrict]the town, the Libya Herald has been told. These included military camps to the south and southeast set up during the Qaddafi regime but now used by IS. Other targets are reported as Ansar al-Sharia’s headquarters in the Bomsafr forest between Derna and Ain Mara, the Abu Salim brigade headquarters and the Jebel Company buildings serving as the IS headquarters and ammunitions store.
The one exception appears to have the targeting of the home in central Derna’s Bab Al-Shiha area of Bashar Al-Drissi, one of the IS leaders. There were reports he had been killed two months ago but it is now said that he was injured in today’s action and taken to hospital. There are claims that some other downtown buildings were also hit.
There are unconfirmed reports, too, that Ras Al-Hilal, 90 kilometres west of Derna, was also bombed.
Residents in the town said that they had heard explosions and planes flying overheard but did not where the strikes had occured. “We’re staying indoors,” one told this newspaper. “We’re afraid.”
Libyan Air Force Commander Major General Saqr Adam Geroushi claimed that between 40 and 50 militants had killed in the airstrikes which, he said, had been a joint Egyptian-Libyan operation. However, it is seen as extremely unlikely, for operational reasons, that both Libyan and Egyptian aircraft would have been involved in the action. But there there are reports that Libyan fighter planes have today attacked Sirte and Ben Jawad.
Reports that reports at least three children died in the attacks cannot be confirmed. There are suggestions that pictures posted on social media of three apparently dead children are old and being used for propaganda purposes.
Geroushi has said that air strikes will continue.
According to Egyptian online newspaper Aswat Masriya the airstrikes were carried by six F-16s.